Paris is special to pretty much everyone who visits: it’s a magical, beautiful city, steeped in culture and history and charm. But I also have a sentimental attachment to the place – it’s where Mr Fluff proposed six years ago, behind Notre Dame cathedral on an unseasonably sunny November day.
We’ve been back since, but most recently returned for our 4 year wedding anniversary, where we visited old favourites and discovered some new ones for the list.
Our favourite area to stay is the Latin Quarter on the left bank (named for the common language of the professors at the Sorbonne), with its jumble of ethnic eateries, studenty shops, cafes and bars.
This time we chose Hotel Le Petit Paris, a lovely four-star boutique hotel on rue Saint Jacques, close to the Panthéon, Luxembourg Gardens and the Boulevard Saint-Germain.
|Jardins du Luxembourg|
With time for one museum visit, we chose Musee d’Orsay, housed in a former railway station, for its Van Gogh and Monet collections (the Musee de l’Orangerie is next on my list).
|Musee d'Orsay, the Seine, steak-frites at Le Tournebievre|
|Have the Kir Laduree - champagne with rose syrup - delicious!|
|Adding a lock to Pont des Arts (known as lovers bridge) on the Seine; followed by lunch in 'our cafe', Cafe des Beaux Arts (just across from the bridge)|
The uneven stone floors, flocked scarlet wallpaper and antique furniture all add character but the food is reason enough to stop by; the menu features traditional French classics including foie gras and French apple tart. This was our second visit, the first being immediately after we got engaged.
I would also recommend the more modern bistro, Le Tournebievre (make a reservation, it’s packed and attracts queues), which was very reasonably priced for food that was pretty near flawless. My steak-frites were divine.
After dinner we whiled away the night at the outside tables of various cafes, where I tried to work my way through the cocktail lists. Following Thelma’s excellent advice we did seek out Le Caveau des Oubliettes for live jazz, but were scared off by a dodgy rock covers band...maybe next time!
Unlike other visits, this time I felt I really got to do and see much of the things that have been on my list since forever. Tell me, what are your must-see's in the City of Lights?